Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 23 Dobry den od Banske Bystrice! [note: Good morning from Banska Bystrica]

Draha rodino a kamaradi! [note: Dear family and friends]

What a week! If only I had time to tell you about all of the adventures we've been having. The Slovak is coming, slowly, but surely. I'm going to be so mixed up when I return to the Czech Republic as far as language goes. Ale tesim sa! [note: But I am looking forward to it!]

So Wednesday I was all packed and ready to go. After emailing I went out to lunch with my companions and the Bohunice elders. They were talking about going on a výlet [note: trip] later that day and I was all jealous. I love výlets and sleepovers and I was complaining that not only was I missing the výlet with the Brno district, but also I wouldn't get any sleepovers again in Banská Bystrica. Anyways later we went to the train station.
Saying good-bye. Some of the YSA's and Young Women's advisor in Brno at the train station.

The Černá pole elders dropped off Elder Buhler. I was there with him, but Sister Izatt hadn't come from Prague yet. Since she was transferring she didn't have a phone. We waited nervously until the train came to take us to Banská. The train pulled up and through the window we saw about 8 elders on their way from Prague to Bratislava. They immediately started loading our luggage on and I was like "I don't have my companion! Call President!" In all of the rush someone called President and he told them not to let me leave without sister Izatt. So then they unloaded my luggage as fast as they could and I barely made it off the train with all of my luggage before it took off.

Turns out Sister Izatt left Prague late, then their bus was delayed, and she got in late. President didn't want us to take a later train to Banská since it would get us in at night so we...returned to Brno with ALL of our luggage! Sister Dolinar, who took my spot in Brno, came with Sister Izatt. The Elders from Černá pole were so great. They loaded their car with all of our luggage and took it to the Brno apartment.

The amazing zone leaders packed 9 luggages into their car.

Meanwhile, the rest of us sisters went on the výlet! I need to be more careful in the future with what I we didn't go to Slovakia on Wednesday as we had planned. But we had some time to contact in Brno and Sister Izatt and I found this amazing lady who we ended up having a lesson with a few hours later. It was pretty cool and we felt better about missing our train. We spent the night in Brno and the elders came to pick us and our luggage up the next morning and get us to the train station. This time we made it:) But picture this...two sister missionaries with 6 luggages that happen to be the exact same red luggage (amazing I know) and each luggage feels like it's full of beton [note: concrete]...

It didn't make for easy travel. We needed to stop in Bratislava and get on a different train. I wasn't paying much attention to the time. After we had been traveling for what felt like not that long, the train stopped and I was like "Sister Izatt, we have to be careful not to miss Bratislava." I suddenly felt like I needed to check my ticket to see what time we should have arrived in Bratislava. I did and looked at my watch and realized we should have been there 10 minutes ago. I looked out the window and was like "SISTER IZATT, THIS IS BRATISLAVA. GET OFF!" We miraculously made it off with all of our luggage. I am so grateful for angels.

Well our experience in Bratislava was hilarious. We needed to stay together (within sight and sound) and we had to find the information center to see which platform we needed to be on. So we had no other choice than to haul all of our luggage (all 6 that felt like each weighed 80 pounds) down the stairs, up the stairs, across the vlak [note: train] station, then down the stairs and up the stairs. Miraculously again we found our train and made it on with all of our luggage. Then we had to find an open compartment. We did! We filled it with our red luggage and then just slumped on the seats, totally exhausted. It was so so funny. We laughed and laughed and laughed. Our arms hurt like crazy for the next three days, but it's fine.

We made it to Banská and to our apartment. After we arrived we ended up cleaning. Again, we just laughed our way through it. We were so busy the rest of the week that we didn't unpack until today! The apartment still isn't all the way clean, but it looks much better.

Our area is beautiful! We work closely with the three zone leaders in Zvolen, the city next to us. An older missionary couple - the Nyes - live there as well. Friday morning we went and helped the Nyes with a service project in Zvolen. It was so fun! We played games with a large group of Roma children. I really enjoyed it.

On Saturday, we left early in the morning on a bus and traveled back to Brno for the baptism. Petra's baptism!! Oh, she is so beautiful! I am thrilled. I know miracles happen in our day because they just happen all the time here. Petra made it! And her mom came and just felt the spirit there so strong. I leaned over to her before Petra got baptized and asked her how she felt. She said "uzasna!" [note: amazing] It was so so beautiful. She told me at the end that she'd like us to come visit her sometime. She'll get baptized. I just feel it! I got to speak at her baptism which was neat. After the baptism Iveta and Renata [note: friends and church members from Ostrava]  took us back to the bus station. They are wonderful! We couldn’t have done it without them. We made the 5 hour trip back and got in around 11. Elder Nye and Tenney picked us in Zvolen which was great. I am so blessed and so grateful to have been there for that baptism.

Sunday was incredible! Keep in mind that I just left Brno where we have an entire branch presidency and over 100 active members. I attended the "unit" in Banská Sunday morning with 7 missionaries and 4 members there. We missionaries participated a LOT!  After church there in Banská we traveled to Zvolen, ate lunch at the Nyes, and then had church at a hotel in Zvolen. Again, 7 missionaries, one member and one investigator. They aren't even a unit there. I taught Sunday school, led the music etc. It was incredible! I'm starting to realize the weight of our responsibility here. Our goal is to make Banská a branch and get a unit in Zvolen. We will be working together to get both areas up and running so we'll be traveling a lot back and forth on the train between Banská and Zvolen. I am looking forward to working with my new district and the members here. The work will move forward and I am thrilled to be a part of it here!

We've already been blessed with so many miracles. With all of our travels we haven't had a lot of time to just kontakt. But we've talked to people as we travel and been blessed to get čísla [note: phone numbers] that way. And the people that have been placed in our paths are incredible. It makes me wonder what would happen if we didn't open our mouths. I LOVE being a missionary! This transfer is going to be different. It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm looking forward to the things that I will learn. Oh and before I forget, I talked to Klára Pišňáková [note: a woman who contacted us through skype a few years ago and who was baptized last year, do not know yet if related] on the phone. She is so great. We want to go visit her this week. Everyone has been talking to me about her and are so excited for me to meet her.

Mám vás veľa ráda! Do videnia! [note: I love you so much! Good-bye!]

S laskou, Sestra Melissa Pysnakova

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